Taenia solium Taeniasis/cysticercosis

Neurocysticercosis (NCC) is the main disease caused by Taenia solium in humans, and the cause of 30% of all epilepsies in low-income countries and possibly in the world. People can develop NCC when they ingest T. solium eggs through faecal-oral contamination, or by ingesting water and food contaminated with eggs from the faeces of a person who has the adult tapeworm. Taeniasis (the adult tapeworm parasite) is acquired by eating raw or undercooked pork meat infected with cysticerci. The affected populations are the poorest and most marginalized communities, living in areas where basic hygiene and sanitation measures are not adequate, and where backyard pigs are raised in contact with human feces.

Taking into account the life cycle of the parasite, to control the transmission of T. solium is necessary a collaborative, multisectoral, and trans-disciplinary approach that connect experts from human, animal, and environmental health disciplines. Coordinated interventions include: Preventive chemotherapy for the control of taeniasis (Disease produced by the tapeworm); improvement of basic sanitation and good hygienic practices; improvement of pig husbandry and vaccination and deworming of pigs in endemic areas; and improvement meat inspection and processing of meat products.

PAHO/WHO supports countries in identifying and in implementing control programs in endemic communities and areas where there are risk factors associated with the presence of T. solium.